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Album Review

James Brandon Lewis: For Mahalia With Love (Expanded Edition)

Read "For Mahalia With Love (Expanded Edition)" reviewed by Stefano Merighi


La musica di James Brandon Lewis è potente, assertiva, trascinante. Ma rivela talvolta, sotto lo strato di forza, una sottile e affascinante vulnerabilità emotiva, che rende ancora più ricco il suo discorso compositivo e solistico. Come nel caso di questo scintillante omaggio al mondo espressivo di Mahalia Jackson, che si realizza attraverso memorie familiari, quelle della nonna che ha trasmesso a James questa passione tuttora bruciante. Lewis è una delle voci più convincenti del jazz contemporaneo che non ...

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Album Review

James Brandon Lewis: For Mahalia With Love (Expanded Edition)

Read "For Mahalia With Love (Expanded Edition)" reviewed by Chris May


Not since Oded Tzur's Isabela (ECM, 2022) has a comparably exalted tenor saxophone-led album come along, not until For Mahalia, With Love. Vaultingly great jazz and deep solace for the soul, For Mahalia, With Love was released in late 2023. An annual cycle for albums of this quality is actually a sufficiency, for there is enough in both these, and those that preceded them, to last a listener a lifetime. File next to John Coltrane's Crescent (Impulse!, 1964) and Albert ...

Album Review

Michael Blake: Dance of the Mystic Bliss

Read "Dance of the Mystic Bliss" reviewed by Vincenzo Roggero


Veterano della scena downtown newyorchese,Michael Blake porta al debuttto sulla propria etichetta P&M Records, Chroma Nova, ensemble dalla configurazione particolare con quattro strumenti a corda, due percussionisti brasiliani, il leader ai sassofoni e, per la prima volta su disco, al flauto. Difficile individuare un centro gravitazionale preciso in Dance of the Mystic Bliss, forse un'intrinseca vena melodica presente nelle dieci composizioni tutte a firma Blake, ma sarebbe fare torto alla grande varietà di atmosfere, di tessiture e di groove che ...

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Album Review

Michael Blake: Dance of the Mystic Bliss

Read "Dance of the Mystic Bliss" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


This is saxophonist Michael Blake's new group, Chroma Nova, which contains guitar, violin, cello, bass and two Brazilian percussionists. They play a set of compositions, inspired by Blake's late mother, dancer Merle Blake, which rely on fluid rhythms and textures taken in many different directions. Blake is often the main solo voice here but he also blends in with the other instruments to create all kinds of intriguing sonic fabrics. For example, “Topanga Burns" starts with a stately ...

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